The book presents a framework for the natural evolution of governance. It is based on the value system approach and field applications of several Social psychology and Conflict resolution theories. The author bases her book in part on the extensive work of Dr. Clare W. Graves and the theory of Spiral Dynamics, and on her own experience as the founder and CEO of the Center for Human Emergence Middle East, a think tank that frames political and economic issues facing the region through the prism of value systems. She builds upon her in-depth knowledge of the history of the Middle East its politics, religions, and business practices, and her decade and half long experience with Graves’ successor, Dr. Don E. Beck (who wrote the foreword for the book).Maalouf devises a comprehensive new model for governance called Functional Democracy and applies it to create a value systems based narrative for the future of the Middle East.
The model relies on the “eight known levels of existence” of the Beck/Graves developmental framework. The author delineates each level and its characteristics, values, and needs and combines her rigorous analysis of different political models with the Memetic profiles of the culture to arrive at an appropriate model for governance. Functional Democracy contains six distinct levels of political leadership and structures:(pg. 234)
- The Benevolent Monarchy
- The Ordered Autocracy
- The Multiparty Democracy
- The Social Democracy
- The Functional Democracy
- The Holonic Democracy
Maalouf claims these are hierarchically-ordered systems with Holonic Democracy being the highest aspiration for governance and that any given culture must pass through every stage on its journey towards more sophisticated systems of governance. (pg. 58) Based on her new theoretical framework Maalouf demonstrates how any political system other than a modern form of Benevolent Monarchy or a Ordered Autocracy will be a detriment to the Middle East. She uses the example of how the one-person, one vote system the West imposed on Iraq and the Palestinian Territories were cultural mismatches, and why Egypt‘s stages of development are more aligned with the values of an Ordered Autocracy than with a liberal Social Democracy.